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General information  

  • Type : Independent video game developer
  • Activity : Video games
  • Starting date : 1993
  • Cessation place : Hoffman Estates

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High Voltage Software (1993)

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  Summary  

High Voltage Software is an independent game development company located at Illinois' Hoffman Estates. Established in 1993, it now employs approximately 95 staff members. Red Eye Studios, a motion capture facility, is a wholly owned subsidiary of HVS. Typically producing completely new and unrelated products back to back, Inside Drive, Hunter and The Conduit are the only products to have seen sequels, and the company typically works with a number of different publishers as each project ends. The Conduit for the Wii console has been entirely self-funded without the help of a publisher, although Sega signed on to publish and distribute the game.

  Biography  

 Reception
Since launching in 1993, High Voltage Software has had most interviews, screenshots, and videos handled by the publishers funding the development of the company's games, with High Voltage Software employees remaining relatively behind the scenes. Recent efforts have been made by High Voltage Software to generate buzz at media outlets like IGN and Joystiq, around their Wii titles The Conduit and Animales de la Muerte. To help build anticipation and discussion by each outlet's community, High Voltage has granted interviews, screenshots, and videos directly to the outlets willing to cover their self-funded Wii projects.

In recent interviews with IGN, Chief Creative Officer Eric Nofsinger commented on the state of graphics in today's Wii games "Most of the games on the Wii look like crap. We want to change that, so we've invested heavily in our Wii tech over the past year," and founder Kerry Ganofsky was quoted as stating "We believe that third-party developers need to step up to the plate and deliver. The Wii platform is capable of a lot more than what consumers have seen so far. We're hoping to raise a new bar."

CCO Eric Nofsinger also mentioned Florida attorney Jack Thompson in a recent interview. Nofsinger expressed his belief that Jack Thompson will have issues with the content in Animales de la Muerte, specifically stating "I suspect Jack Thompson may have a thing or two to say about Animales de la Muerte. And let him say all he wants. That's the wonderful thing about First Amendment rights. It allows us creators to express ourselves while we entertain millions and it affords him the opportunity to prey off of the suffering of a few victims' families and espouse misinformed diatribes against artists and creators..."

In May 2011, several news outlets noted the reaction by High Voltage Software to a negative review of Conduit 2 by Mike Murdock, a reviewer at Joystiq. Finding that Murdock had written a book available on Amazon, High Voltage's Creative Director, Matt Corso, sent an email to co-workers suggesting that they could "return the favour" through Amazon's review system. The book, which had previously had several five-star reviews from the end of 2008, suddenly attracted many one-star reviews, all provided during the month of May.

 Company layoff
After terminating 36 employees in January 2006, High Voltage Software reported to Gamasutra that the company had "right sized" their staff from 156 employees to 120. Post layoff, Ganofsky stated "High Voltage has long been one of the biggest and most established independent game developers, but we had grown to a size where our focus and quality was suffering. It’s imperative that we have the right people and the right critical awareness to make certain that we make great games."

In August 2010, it was revealed that the company laid off an additional 25 staff members.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "High Voltage Software", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.